The lone wolf or rural justice champion?: imagining 'the rural lawyer'



Publication Details

T. Mundy, 'The lone wolf or rural justice champion?: imagining 'the rural lawyer'' (2016) 18 Southern Cross University Law Review 31-54.


This paper seeks to add an account of the contemporary cultural depiction of the ‘rural lawyer’. It highlights two narratives to come from in-depth interviews with twelve final year law students: ‘The Lone Wolf ’ and the ‘Rural Justice Champion’. These metaphors are used to capture a range of stories told by students that I posit tend to frame the rural lawyer as the masculinist, solitary and on-guard ‘Wolf ’ or as a virtuous ‘Rural Justice Champion’. I suggest that student accounts may overly problematise some aspects of the ‘rural’ relative to the ‘urban’ while the Rural Justice Champion may implicitly support a deficit model of rural lawyering. Both also point to strongly gendered themes in the construction and performance of the role. I conclude by highlighting the important role that law school plays in better exposing students to rural diversity and offering opportunities for critical reflection on spatial and social inequalities through place-conscious education.

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